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The Flowers Are Blooming!

Our Night Blooming Cereus have been blooming the last couple of nights. These plants have been on the property for awhile…we don’t know if they were planted by the previous owner or how they got here. They only bloom once a year in late May/early June and only after sundown and each flower blooms once, then wilts away. They are beautiful and smell wonderfully and are rarely seen by people.

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In the picture below, you can see several blooms for the night and some of the blooms from previous nights that are wilting away.

Several blooms outside the dining room

Here is some information on the plant:

One of the strangest plants of the desert, the Night-bloomiing Cereus is a member of the Cactus Family that resembles nothing more than a dead bush most of the year. It is rarely seen in the wild because of its inconspicuousness. But for one midsummer’s night each year, its exqusitely scented flower opens as night falls, then closes forever with the first rays of the morning sun.

Range
Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of southern Arizona, east to western Texas and south to northern Mexico.

Habitat
Desert flats and washes between 3000 and 5000 feet, often in the shade of desert shrubs like Creosote.

Flowers
These very fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers, which bloom for only one night in June or July, are up to 4 inches wide and as much as 8 inches long. The waxy, creamy-white, many-petaled flowers are followed by a red-orange, short-spined ellipitical fruit about 3 inches long.

Description
The Night-blooming Cereus has sparse, angular, lead-gray, twiggy stems about 1/2 inch in diameter. Extremeley small spines grow along the 4 to 6 ribs of these woody stems, which can easily break. It can be erect or sprawling, reaching a length of up to 8 feet, but is usually half that length.

The Night Blooming Cereus has a tuberous, turnip-like root usually weighing 5 to 15 pounds (but in some specimens weighing over 100 pounds), which Native Americans used as a food source.

A close Baja relation (Peniocereus. johnstonii), called Saramatraca, Pitayita, or Matraca is locally popular for its edible tuber, which is said to account for the plant’s scarcity there.

Night-blooming Cereus is popular in rock gardens and can be grown from stem cuttings. After the cut end is is allowed to heal for several weeks, it is planted in dry sand. Like all cactus, Night-blooming Cereus may be protected in certain desert areas, and permits may be required to collect them.

 Mike

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Founders Day, the Melbourne Art Festival and the Pineapple Man Triathlon

Three of our favorite weekends of the year are coming up. The Melbourne Art Festival is the weekend of April 25-26, Founders Day in Melbourne Beach is celebrated on Saturday, May 2nd and the Rotary Pineapple Man Triathlon is Sunday, May 31st.

The Melbourne Art Festival (April 25-26) is held in old downtown Melbourne just across the causeway. The festival includes a 5k run and live music throughout the day and night. The 5k is one of Linda’s favorites…you run over the causeway and back and they have live music or a DJ and a beer tent at the end! The art festival is pretty large taking up the whole downtown.

Check here for more information: http://www.melbournearts.org/

 

Founders Day (Saturday, May 2nd ) in Melbourne Beach takes place right on Ocean Avenue and includes an arts and crafts show and various activities all day in the park across from Djons. There is a fishing contest, historical presentations, a surf contest across the street, and live music with the local Rotary club serving beer and wine. The street party at night this year features our friend, Billy Chapman (http://www.billychapman.com/ ). Billy played guitar and sang for the entertainment at our grand opening celebration a little over a year ago. Lots of locals spend the whole day here and this is one of the reasons Linda and I love living in our little beach town.

The Rotary Pineapple Man Triathlon will be held on Sunday, May 31st and takes place just down the street. Unfortunately, registration is closed…it is a really popular triathlon and fills up early. This sprint triathlon starts with a swim just off the pier at the end of the street, the bike is down A1A and back and the run is through the streets of the town. Linda has done this triathlon several times…I did the swim on a relay one year. If you are registered, we’d be the perfect place to stay…Linda will set you up with a triathletes breakfast – coffee, bananas, and lite stuff early. And we’ll save a big breakfast for you when you come back. If you’re not registered, you can come scout it for next year!

Here is the website for the triathlon: www.pineapple-man-tri.com

If you missed the registration for the Pineapple Man, you can always do the Health First Triathlon in October (www.healthfirsttri.com) that starts in Eau Gallie just 10 minutes from the inn. This triathlon, formerly known as the Battle of the Bridges, has both a sprint and Olympic distance and goes over both the Eau Gallie and Pineda causeways. I did the sprint on this one…ended up walking up the causeway but I had a lot of fun anyway. Linda has done the Olympic distance on this one several times.

Mike

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Oceanfront Dining

Many who visit Port d’Hiver and Melbourne Beach love to sample the local restaurants. One of the most common questions we get is “where can we go to have dinner on the ocean?” Unfortunately, there haven’t been any great places to send our guests that are oceanfront. Locals will recall restaurants such as Boomerangs, Sampertons, the Beachfront Inn and Chuck’s Steakhouse. All these succumbed to either the hurricanes or the condo boom.

Now a new restaurant is being built – and it is right accross the street! The shell of the building that formerly housed Boomerangs and was lost to hurricanes Frances and Jeanne is being renovated by Djon Pepaj. For those who have strolled down to Djon’s for dinner or taken the short drive to City Tropics Bistro or Andiamos, you know Djon’s knack for atmosphere and food.

The photo below was taken today. I don’t know the estimated opening date. They probably have a couple months to go.

Check out the information on Djon’s website: http://www.citytropics.com/.

Mikesand-on-the-beach

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